In reading John
Piwaron question about "loose tenon" vs. normal tenon joinery I
think there are times where each is the best choice.
In the attached
photos of a recent Padauk sofa I made I used both methods. The
back support was way too large to run through the tenoning jig and
while I could have cut the tenon with a tenon saw or router , it was
more accurate to make 1 jig for 2 tenons and move it from the
backrest to the sides (arms).
The legs and the
stretchers I made in the traditional fashion where the tenon is an
integral part of the stretcher. In both cases it resulted in tight
clean joints of equal strength. One photo shows the jigs used
for loose tenon construction and a piece of tenon stock which I made
on the router table to match the radius of the mortise (as Jim
In my visits to Sam
Maloof's studio or my friend and master woodworker Randy Bader,
their walls are cover with templates. The templates allow them
to quickly duplicate or modify previous designs. They have
refined these over the years to improve on already great work.
All of this falls
well within the realm of fine woodworking.